Bill waltzes to Bismarck
North Dakota has a state song -- the "North Dakota Hymn." It even has a state march -- the "Flickertail March." Now, it could have a state waltz. It's a song called "Dancing Dakota," written by Chuck Suchy, a singer-songwriter from Mandan, N.D. S...
North Dakota has a state song -- the "North Dakota Hymn."
It even has a state march -- the "Flickertail March."
Now, it could have a state waltz.
It's a song called "Dancing Dakota," written by Chuck Suchy, a singer-songwriter from Mandan, N.D.
State Sen. Connie Triplett, D-Grand Forks, plans to sponsor a bill in the legislative session that begins in January to designate the song as the state waltz.
"Well, why not," Triplett said. "We're not trying to take away anything that's there. This would be in addition to it."
Actually, a campaign for "Dancing Dakota" has been spreading in cyberspace since July, when former North Dakota Tourism Director Jim Fuglie mentioned that "Dancing Dakota" was one of his favorite Suchy songs.
Then, North Dakota State University historian Tom Isern answered by suggesting a campaign to replace North Dakota's state song with Suchy's waltz.
"I believe a waltz is the appropriate sort of song for a prairie state, and this one is just right," Isern wrote.
far as you see.
Dance and the
long may we be.
So, they started talking. They figured it might be difficult accomplish the task, since the North Dakota Hymn is part of the North Dakota Century Code -- along with the state bird, state tree and more.
Fuglie started researching.
He couldn't find a copy of the North Dakota Hymn anywhere, not in the North Dakota Heritage Center. He did learn that it was written in the 1920s and first performed publicly in 1927 in the Bismarck City Auditorium.
"I spent half a day looking at other state songs," Fuglie said. "Most states have more than one official state song. Some have as many as five."
He found plenty of examples:
- Washington state has a state folk song -- "Roll On, Columbia, Roll On," by Woody Guthrie.
- Ohio has a state rock song -- "Hang on Sloopy," a 1960s song by the McCoys, who originally were from Dayton, Ohio.
Fuglie's research led to more actual state song discoveries.
- Tennessee. "Rocky Top" and "The Tennessee Waltz."
- Arkansas. "The Arkansas Traveler."
- Georgia. "Georgia on my Mind."
Triplett said she doesn't know if such a bill has a chance to pass. She hasn't done a poll. But she's determined to make the effort.
She's joined forces with Rep. Joyce Kingsbury, R-Grafton. And Sen. Tim Mathern, D-Fargo, has pledges support, according to Fuglie.
"I'm a fan," Triplett said. "We'll make sure we have bipartisan support for it -- and people from the east part of the state and west part of the sate -- and see how to how it goes."
Online: A clip from the Dancing Dakota waltz, courtesy of Chuck Suchy, is at tinyurl.com/dancingdakota. Check out Suchy's Web site at www.chucksuchy.com .
Reach Bonham at (701) 780-1110; (800) 477-6572, ext. 110; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .